Officials from the Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organization (SSMO) are in the country to acquaint themselves with Uganda’s coffee processing chain, right from the garden.
The inspection of Uganda’s coffee comes just a year after Uganda was given a two-year period to comply with the standards set by SSMO – where all coffee entering their market has to be issued with a certificate.
The process kicked off with a meeting with their Ugandan counter-parts from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) at their head offices in Bweyogerere.
“We met with producers of about 44 commodities and businessmen and agreed that all commodities entering our market be issued with certificates as proof they met SSMO’s quality standards,” SSMO Director General, Dr Awad M. A. Sokrab said.
He added: “We are thus here to verify the coffee chain from the garden to processing so as to reduce the quality gap since we both (UNBS & SSMO) aim at protecting the consumer and our national economies.”
The only accepted certificates are those from international surveyor companies registered by SSMO; the national standards body of the country of origin, and a certificate from an international accredited laboratory approved by the UNBS.
Further, Dr. Sokrab revealed that Sudan appointed a company to carry out pre-shipment inspection of the Uganda coffee exports to Sudan.
On his part UNBS Executive Director, Dr. Ben Manyindo said the Sudanese consume 20% of Uganda’s coffee. “You contribute greatly to our economy and we value you so much.”
On average, Uganda exports over 0.8m bags of coffee annually to Sudan, making it the leading importer of the country’s coffee in Africa and second importer in the world for the last 15 years.
The four-day visit that ends Thursday will see the Sudanese delegates meeting coffee processors, farmers and exporters.